# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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Leopard Hunting (1998, Lin Chan-Wai & Ishii Hisatoshi)

Multi-national team of mostly female cops (including Jade Leung and Yukari Oshima) leads said 'Leopard Hunting' operation to stop Yuen Wah's gang from stealing money, freeing a prisoner and wrecking general havoc across Asia. Sounds like it has scope but is a late 90s cheapie with a cast that were better used by directing- and action-teams with more skill and motivation in the past. A lot of expository scenes of talking do give way eventually to some good action-beats however. Gunplay is basic but nicely bloody and some close quarter fight scenes have power. Way too sporadic inclusions however and even when attempting more acrobatic gunplay, the camera cuts away to off-screen action-noise instead. A clear indicator this production simply didn't have the gang and skill to pull this off. An incredibly silly wire effect during the multiple girls vs Yuen Wah fight-finale becomes unintentionally funny as well as the movie has not indicated it logically can and will go big action-places conceptually. Also with Roy Cheung and Yu Rong Guang.

Lethal Contact (1992) Directed by: Kent Cheng & Billy Lau

Action livens up but does not make up the plethora of flaws, main one being the dullness of this early 90s effort. Kent Cheng and Billy Lau doesn't give us anything interesting in terms of directing or on-screen chemistry but the "screw you"-gag towards the end is inspired, for this film anyway. Don't dismiss Kent Cheng as a director though. His award-winning Why Me? has merits and one effort that shows why Kent is such a respected actor also. Jeff Falcon, Wilson Lam and Jaclyn Chu also appear.

Winson's full screen dvd presentation is even worse than the screen capture above shows.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Lethal Panther (1991) Directed by: Godfrey Ho

Godfrey Ho's exploitation version of The Killer is certainly audience friendly. Serving up a smorgasbord of girls, naked girls and a high pitched frequency to the gunplay WITH the girls, this is all very calculated, especially the drama and the Category III aspect of this production is embarrassingly forced. Lethal Panther get by just by lining up these elements for the slaughter but if Ho's action directors would've executed the stylized, acrobatic gunplay violence with a few more notches better flare (slow motion doesn't make mundane choreography automatically cool), there could've been something very gory and cool in the end product. Lead Maria Yuen fits her role very sufficiently though while Sibelle Hu merely supports the flick at various points. So does Lawrence Ng, Alex Fong and Ken Lo.

Released in the UK as Deadly China Dolls while the unrelated sequel was re-named to Lethal Panther in the same territory.

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Yesasia.com

Lethal Panther 2 (1993) Directed by: Cindy Chow

Named Lethal Panther for its UK release since the actual first, unrelated film was blessed with Deadly China Dolls, this contains precious little Cantonese speaking performers as leads since the Philippines was used as a location. Phillip Ko appears briefly and choreographs the action and while quick-cut editing is an issue, this is unusually strong, acrobatic gunplay coming from him. The team for once channels the need for excess and creativity so above average for a Ko Fei production it definitely is, with Yukari Oshima responding dependently. Watch out for a brief but obviously Bullet In The Head inspired car finale. Drama in between is just basic framework for mentioned action aspect but we do get to the fair goodies within relatively short periods of time.

-Let's Have A Baby (1985) Directed by: Chor Yuen

One of legendary director Chor Yuen's last movies at Shaw Brothers before they closed shop, it's nice to see both the versatile director (famous for his swordplay novel adaptations) tackle extreme farce and do it with mostly an infectious touch. The couple Peter and Yuan Kwun (Alex Man and Pat Ha, both of which starred against each other in the erotically charged An Amorous Woman Of Tang Dynasty the year before at Shaw's) are perfectly synced, especially when it comes to the stance of putting babies in an overpopulated world. Well, the desire to have one unexpectedly awakens in both of them and after many wild tries (including mimicking pornos), it turns out Peter's sperm is ineffective so off to artificial insemination in Hawaii they go. Slowly but surely Peter starts developing a distaste for the idea of pregnancy, that someone else is the father and especially since it might lean towards Yuan Kwun's cousin Wai Siao Bao (Poon Jan-Wai)...

It's said that Alex Man's Peter is adrenaline fueled all over EXCEPT when it comes to the boys swimming and it certainly shows in Man's extremely turned up performance. Trying out the different ideas suggested by former sex maniac turned gynecologist (a suitably cast Charlie Cho), Peter is a wild man who is committed but also insanely stupid. Even more so when his jealousy and paranoia takes over instead of communication with his loved one. For the most part director Chor Yuen keeps up with the frantic pace and even delivers some inspiring sights out of Peter's mad mind but the middle does get bogged down in less inspired madness. Overall this comedy with endless complications and misunderstandings does survive and it's interesting to see material so broad and characters so annoying, work in favour of a movie. Tanny Tien plays Peter's mother in law.

Lewd Lizard (1979) Directed by: Wai Wang & Wang Hsiung

David (co-director Wai Wang) comes back from abroad only to find his wife to be has married another man in order to clear a debt. Subsequently mugged and taken to the mentally unstable side, David decides to strike back against ALL women by training lizards to crawl inside women's vaginas (a sequence showing David and female accomplice stealing women's panties comes before this key plot ingredient so we know we're heading somewhere sleazy). The kill is both pleasurable and painful for the women...viva exploitation! At heart an intense melodrama, of course Wai Wang's baby has its sights firmly locked at the sleaze and boy does Lewd Lizard deliver fine, shameless stuff. 70s fashion is unavoidable but the audio assault is something else. Obvious cues probably heard in various porn movies are thrown at us without any subtlety, sound design during the lizard attacks is akin to chewing or munching and of course the lust/pain of the females David attacks is shot in glorious slow motion. Not really well attended narrative and giant overacting are negative asides but not enough to overpower the outrageousness Wai Wang and Wang Hsiung manages to convey on-screen via very small means.

License To Steal (1990) Directed by: Billy Chan

A family of thieves (one of the daughters is Hung, played by Joyce Godenzi) gets to experience betrayal as one of the daughters, Ngan (Agnes Aurelio - She Shoots Straight), wishes to break free for her own financial gain so during Hung's last heist, she is left behind by Ngan and gets sentenced to prison. When out, an inspector (Richard Ng), his follower (Ngai Sing) and a modern day swordsman wannabee (Yuen Biao) enters the frey. Hung plots her payback by also co-operating with the police. The joy of Billy Chan's breezy action-comedy is seeing such distinctly different characters interacting with each other. It's nothing new to see Hong Kong cinema throw everything in there but it's especially enjoyable having the banter of Richard Ng and Yuen Biao (Ng is his uncle in the film) mixed in with Joyce Godenzi's plot and really, the insane talent is all thrown in there for comedic and awesome physical purposes. Yuen Biao is especially enjoyable as a bit of a nut out of touch with the times, Ngai Sing a talented rookie cop gets to cut loose against the likes of Billy Chow and on it goes. It has the stamp of easy entertainment but also Sammo Hung's producing stamp and Billy Chan's fine focus as director.

Life After Life (1981) Directed by: Peter Yung

Fairly eerie horror film, produced by Cinema City and shot in synch sound. Director Peter Yung collaborates very well with cinematographer Arthur Wong in giving us a low-key but quite chilling tale as we follow George Lam (being less of an empty void in his acting ways for once) trying to put together the fragmented pieces of his violent demise in a past life. Chinese puppets probably never did look scary, until now that is. Also starring Patrick Tse, Lung Tin Sang and Flora Cheung.

Arthur Wong was nominated against his own work in the slasher-comedy He Lives By Night and ended up taking home the Hong Kong Film Award for that very film.

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Yesasia.com

Life And Death (1972) Directed by: Ng Tin-Chi

Also known as The Bloody Fight, this old school martial arts actioner surely sold a ticket or two thanks to a better alternate title. However neither version can hide the fact that this Chinese martial arts vs. Japanese martial arts story is re-cycled stuff that also goes down roads of extreme tedium. Flashing a little high flying creativity in the fight scenes at times (as well as gore and overall mostly during the finale), otherwise the choreography is lacking imagination in the most dreadful of ways. Especially since quite a number of the leads (men and women) merely know posing but little of how to sell a fight. They get very little supported by the filmmakers though. Alan Tang stars opposite Pai Ying while Chen Kuan-Tai and Eddy Ko appear as henchmen.

Buy the DVD at:
HK Flix.com

Life Is A Moment Story (1987) Directed by: Teresa Woo

In 2037 where individuals are known only by numbers, high technology being at its most prominent when many lights are flickering and where people wear plastic or silver suits, we find Pat Ha's 6262 in one when getting caught in a government experiment that takes her back in time to 1987...in her car.

Indeed Back To The Future vibes minus comedy manifests themselves, Teresa Woo stages a novelty vehicle as Hong Kong cinema rarely ventured into science fiction, designed this way (very in tune with the 1980s vision of the future). Going back and meeting her parents as young kids, the expected paradoxes for Pat Ha's character takes place as well as enlightenment about your path of destiny starting generations earlier. There's also a love story with Alex Fong that is obviously going to collide tragically with the inevitable. While Woo directs Ha as suitably cold, she works opposed an unseasoned Alex Fong who's not melting the icy surface the movie has and attempt at warmth comes via sappy melodrama instead. When you don't feel as much as the character on-screen apparently does, a movie has a problem. Life Is A Moment Story is fun to watch for its excursions into seldom treaded territory for Hong Kong cinema but boy wouldn't it had been fun if they kept the flick in 2037 all along! Roy Chiao and Ha Ping also appear.

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Yesasia.com

Lifeline Express (1984) Directed by: Kirk Wong

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Entertaining horror-comedy from the early, quite exciting career of Kirk Wong's. Kent Cheng is Fatso who prays to Buddha for the well-being of his brother Tiger (Teddy Robin Kwan) who's on an operating table but giving away years of his life wasn't the best idea. Fortune tellers spell out the final destiny of Fatso and he now attempts to perform rituals to salvage his life before his next birthday. It doesn't help that his non-believer brother is focused on getting girls for him and Fatso...

Although starting out with a serious prologue concerning disasters (archival footage of war and racing accidents etc etc) that lacks subtitles, we're soon in somewhat safe hands. Am saying that because contrasts in mood and content seems to suggest darker things but we're not entirely sure where Kirk is taking us. As it turns out, you're very willing to be taken on a light and creepy ride, often with those moods colliding. As Fatso attempts a life-saving ritual that concerns making sure bumping into particular signs on the Hong Kong street, a certain amount of low-brow cleverness takes place on occasion as for instance here Fatso is said to look out for two chicks (i.e. chickens) fighting over a cock. Well, he bounces into two prostitutes (chicken being a slang for that profession). Wong's methods are farce or slapstick-like in nature indeed but having Kent Cheng's predicament being both light and dark seems perfectly natural for this film. Latter parts really amps the creepy factor as now the afterlife intrudes on Fatso's life and only Eddy Ko's Professor (and some pyramid magic) is left to possibly save Fatso. Mixing in more wonderful dialogue in even the darker parts of the film (Fatso's parents have invited Bruce Lee and Peter Sellers to his afterlife birthday), Lifeline Express greatly entertains for all the right reasons. Fine balancing act.

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